Saturday, January 30, 2010

LROC: Precise 3D Measurements of Objects at the Apollo 14 landing site using LRO's Narrow-Angle Camera stereo images

Traverse map of Apollo 14 landing site. [NASA/GSFC/ASU/OSU] (Full Size HERE.)

Jordan Lawyer

LROC News System

In the zoomed image (HERE), the lunar module can be identified by its deck (red points) and distinctive shadow (green lines). These points are measured in the two stereo images and their corresponding 3D ground coordinates are computed. Note that the shadow analysis uses different times and sun angles of the two images for computation. In addition, the nearby terrain is measured at the selected points on the ground (green points) as a reference. From these measurements, we can compute the height and diameter of the lunar module. As the result, the height of the lunar module (descent stage) is estimated as 3.0 m, compared to the design specification of 3.2 m. On the other hand, the shadow analysis resulted in a height of the lunar module of 3.2 m. Furthermore, using a least squares fitting to a circle the diameter of the lunar module is computed as 4.4 m, compared to the design data of 4.2 m.

Read the detailed story, HERE.

Apollo 14 at the beginning of Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard's first EVA in February, 1971. Erik van Meijgaarden has combined A14-9254 and 9255 as a 4 o'clock portrait of the Lunar Module, now a feature of the Apollo 14 section of the Apollo Surface Journal.

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